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RICS shows rise in purchase enquiries

19 April 2006
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (RICS) UK housing market survey has shown a rise in enquiries for mortgage loans for a record-breaking tenth month in a row.

House prices have also risen for the fifth consecutive month and agents' confidence is buoyed by the fact that the Easter period is traditionally strong for purchasing commitments in the housing market.

Although the rate in house prices has slowed recently - 13 per cent of chartered surveyors report a rise rather than a fall compared with 16 per cent last month - the industry remains positive overall.

RICS spokesperson Ian Perry said: "People traditionally put houses on the market in the new year and sales pick up around Easter. Agents are clearly expecting this year to be no exception and our figures are showing a lot of optimism in the industry."

The survey also noted that price rises were strongest in the south, despite remaining weaker in the north and the Midlands where unemployment is becoming a concern and so people are more reluctant to take on a home owner loan.

"Some people may be more inclined to sell while others remain unaffected by the softening employment picture and are still keen to buy," continued Mr Perry.

"This split in the economy is one explanation for the unusual situation where both new buyer enquiries and instructions to sell are rising simultaneously."

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